I expect that actors and directors – like the majority of other adult humans – occasionally get despondent, wondering whether they are doing the right thing with their lives or whether what they’re doing makes any difference in the world or whether anyone really appreciates the hard work and long hours they devote to their craft. Well, let me tell you a little story.
My boss asked me for a recommendation; he was looking to take his 7th grade daughter to a play. She is taking her first drama class and was encouraged to go see a professional production since she had never seen one before. (This last bit is of course a little astonishing to me given that my kids were generally IN shows before their first birthday, let alone attending them…) One of the recommendations I gave was CAT’s “The Importance of Being Earnest.” I was a little hesitant because, as I remember it, the play has some pretty sophisticated humor in it amongst the silliness, and also over the years I have seen the occasional marginal production at CAT.
Well, apparently, his daughter was enchanted by the play and sat rapt in attention throughout, laughing frequently. Now she is totally psyched about theater and, just today, my boss came and asked for yet another recommendation (watch out, Plaids!) Anyway, I guess my point is that, even when you are toiling away in a show and you are deep into the run and the house isn’t very big and you frankly would rather be at home sipping hot chocolate, you might consider that your audience might include an impressionable youngster experiencing her first show. And your performance may make the difference between that youngster becoming a new and excited theater lover or just another teenage videogame slacker.
And thanks, by the way, all you good folks at CAT for helping me gain points with the boss. I appreciate it.
My preview piece on “Medea” is up on the Style website. For your enjoyment…